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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Dalziel

Artistic licence (30-06-20)

Bible Reading

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

(Psalm 139:13-16)


I was watching a painting demonstration on the television recently and the instructor kept saying that as a painter you were free to create whatever scene you wanted to because you had complete artistic licence, as it was your picture. This is not a new idea, regularly in my painting magazine I see where people have adapted a scene to make it more pleasing to the eye. If, when you look out at a view of the countryside, a tree is in an inconvenient place, then as a painter you are free to move it wherever you wish or, if you like, you can leave it out altogether. I often do not paint things the colour that they actually are, I love to paint people but the people I paint can be blue or orange or pink or purple, depending on what I want to show in the painting about the person. A portrait does not always have to look like the person, the artist has freedom to say something that a traditional photograph might not.

God had complete artistic licence when he created man, he could have created us however he wanted to. He chose to create us as we are, with all our faults and weaknesses, but also with all our strengths and possibilities.

In Psalm 139, the psalmist praises God because he is fearfully and wonderfully made. Each one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made, exactly as God wanted us to be. What we do with the creation that God gave us is up to each one of us, but we should never worry that we are not up to the job, because God could have made us in any way that he chose and he chose to make us exactly as we are.


Creator God, I praise you that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I marvel at your creation and all that you have provided for us. Help us to appreciate all that you have given us and to be confident that with your Spirit to guide us we can be the people that you wanted us to be.


Creation Sings The Father’s Song (Getty/Townend)

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